Thursday, March 24, 2016

Working Smarter in 2016

Almost everything in society is telling us to work harder, be better and strive for more. What if this actually creates the opposite effect of what we truly want – to feel great about ourselves and to feel purpose in our lives? If we feel good it makes sense that our work will reflect that – whatever job we do. But what if we don’t feel vital and alive most of the time? How does that affect our work and which comes first the chicken or the egg - work hard, feel bad or feel bad, work hard?

Consider this: “77% of workers have a chronic health condition: depression, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma and heart attack, that is costing business $84 billion in lost productivity.” Gallup, 2013. And this: “There is a significant cost of work-related stress, depression and anxiety which is over 13 million days a year.” Annual surveys of sickness absence CBI (CIPD/AXA 2012)

Working hard is clearly taking its toll on us but it needn’t be.

Being busy and working hard aren’t the same as being effective yet most of us subscribe to these notions. But, why? And what works if ‘hard’ and ‘busy’ don’t?

Monday, March 7, 2016

How To Decide How Connected You Want To Be On Maternity Leave

You might want to check in, or maybe you're looking forward to completely unplugging, but you'll probably end up somewhere in the middle.

The two ends of the spectrum on maternity leave are what I like to call "full blackout" (whereby you’re completely offline and unreachable except in case of true, dire emergency) and staying 100% online (plugged in to your office via the various devices you rely on).

As for the plugged-in approach: One woman told me matter-of-factly that she worked during her entire maternity leave(s), albeit remotely. "I wanted to stay on top of the projects I cared about," she said. She was also reluctant to completely turn over her work to junior team members because she wanted to be able to seamlessly ramp up again—even though her company and managers would have been fine with her disengaging for a few months. She never even put up an out-of-office message.